The ending of the Islamic religious festival of Ramadan on 9 April has provided a timely boost to hogget and lamb prices.

Factories tried to reduce quotes after buying for the Easter festival concluded last week but have had to quickly abandon this stance.

Hogget quotes have actually increased by 10c/kg on last week, with quality-assured (QA) hoggets now quoted at €8.80/kg.

Regular sellers and groups are securing €8.90/kg to €9/kg, with specialist finishers with strong negotiating power securing more. The upward movement in the market follows a significant tightening in numbers available this week.

The tight supplies of hoggets is also inserting more life in to the trade for spring lambs.

Base quotes have increased by 20c/kg with QA lambs now offered at a price of €9.40/kg.

Reports indicate that regular sellers and producers with greater negotiating power are securing higher.

There is also greater competition between plants with Kildare Chilling now also quoting alongside ICM for lambs.

It is a similar situation in Northern Ireland, with factory attempts to pull base quotes by 10p/kg at the end of last week proving to be fruitless.

Producers with hoggets are dismissing opening quotes of £6.90/kg (€8.06/kg), with the majority of hoggets trading upwards of £7/kg (€8.18/kg) and top prices rising 10p/kg to 20p/kg (11c-18c/kg) higher.

The celebration at the ending of Ramadan, called Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of a month’s fasting, is also driving demand for cull ewes.

Factory quotes have increased by 10c/kg to 20c/kg, while the mart trade remains the most lucrative outlet for heavy fleshed ewes.